Cat health

5 Important things

  • Responsible cat owners need to make sure that their cat is neutered, vaccinated against certain diseases and microchipped as well as having regular health checks with a vet
  • You'll need to make sure to register your cat with a vet as soon as possible. Try getting a recommendation from a friend or neighbour, or call in at local practices
  • Kittens and adult cats should be vaccinated to help them stay healthy and help stop the spread of disease. They'll need their first vaccine at around eight to nine weeks old
  • Fleas and worms are very common in cats but may be hard to spot. Seek your vet's advice about different treatment options, which will depend on your cat's lifestyle
  • As your cat enters old age, they'll need some extra understanding for their changing lifestyle. Considered geriatric from 12 years of age, you'll want to make sure the later years of your cat's life are comfortable and happy

Keeping an eye on your cat's health

Keeping your cat safe is only part of cat ownership - you'll need to keep an eye on your cat's health too.

From routine cat care to regular vet check-ups, there are plenty of things to think about.

Routine cat care

You'll need to make sure your cat is neutered and microchipped as well as vaccinated, treated against parasites and regularly seen by a vet. Vaccinations are available against a range of infections and cats should receive regular booster vaccinations throughout their life to maintain their protection.

Aside from veterinary care, you'll also want to make sure your cat is groomed and checked for dental disease as well as being fed a healthy diet.

Finding a vet

You'll need to register your cat with a vet as soon as possible. Try getting a recommendation from a friend or neighbour, or pop into some of your local practices before you decide.

Veterinary practices are registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons - visit http://www.rcvs.org.uk/ for details.

Spotting signs of illness

Where possible, ensuring you have enough history about a cat's health is important. If the cat has any previous conditions that are likely to recur, or ongoing medical conditions, this should be flagged up.

Cats are good at hiding pain and signs of illness, and often owners don't notice their cat is suffering or unwell because they hide it well. If you do notice anything unusual in your cat, it is worth visiting your vet. Look out for signs like coughing and sneezing, runny nose and eyes, or lumps, bumps and wounds.

See also - Signs of pain

Obesity and feeding

A balanced diet is important to keep your cat healthy and it is best to stick to a reputable cat food which includes everything your pet needs.

It is particularly important you manage your cat's weight by making sure they are not overfed and have plenty of exercise. To check your cat isn't overweight, you should be able to feel your cat's ribs when you stroke their body lightly.

See also - Diet, Feeding Cats, Obesity

Elderly cats

As your cat gets older, their needs and behaviour may change. You'll need to keep an eye out to make sure their general health is in order.

If there are changes to their general health, appetite and mobility, it is wise to take them to a vet.

See also - Elderly cats

Photo credits

Cat in a bay - Timothy Meinberg - Unsplash
Green eyes - Antonio Lapa - Unsplash
Older cat - Sue Dobbs - CP Bridgend